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If Microsoft places its bets, do you want to be there with them, or go in the opposite direction? The software giant sees a fundamental change to business models over the next five years as tens of millions of users shift from premise-based applications to “cloud”-based (SAAS or on-demand) applications. Check out where your business model might be going in this Reuters report.

Here’s another way to point out your value to your customers. A new study points out the security risks that old user accounts pose to current networks. At LendingTree former employees gave their old account login information to mortgage lenders who used the information to steal customer data. The report noted approximately 30 percent of respondents said it takes longer than three days to terminate an account after an employee or contractor leaves the company – 12 percent said it takes more than a month. And 15 percent said that accounts had been used inappropriately. See more on the study at

Security vendor Blue Coat Systems will add five enhancements to its partner program, starting June 1. They include a bigger discount on evaluation equipment, deal registration for all partner levels and better partner discounts, and a new course in pre-and post-sales deployments for sales engineers. BlueCoat will also introduce a BlueTouch Support Partner program, which lets Blue Coat-certified partners offer self-branded services backed by Blue Coat support. In addition, A Virtual Marketing Agency program gives partners a free, turnkey marketing solution for implementing partner branded Blue Coat campaigns. The agency also includes new sales and marketing tools to educate partners on Blue coat solutions, which will be delivered in local languages in Blue Coat’s top geographies, the company said. More information is at the company’s site.

MaintenanceNet is soft-launching an education campaign to show solution providers how easy it is to capitalize on product registration and service support contract revenue. The company’s custom-branded SaaS platform allows VARs to improve registration practices and uncover new service sales opportunities, the company said. MaintenanceNet is currently used by such heavyweights as Ingram Micro to track product registrations and service contracts from vendors like Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Fujitsu among others. MaintenanceNet says it currently has about 6 large clients and approximately 5,600 resellers accessing its portal. More info is available at the company’s site.

Security firm Sophos today tapped Michael McGuinness as its new senior vice president of worldwide sales and field operations. According to the company, McGuinness will assume responsibility for the company’s global sales and sales support organizations as well as its worldwide subsidiary operations. In this newly-created position, McGuinness, who has been a CEO at both PanGo Networks and NuGenesis Technologies, will also be charged with “identifying new ways to accelerate the company’s success in key markets worldwide,” the company said. McGuinness will report directly to Sophos CEO Steve Munford.